Patanjali Dairies head Sunil Bansal succumbs to Covid

Company issues statement, says had no role in his allopathic treatment.

MUMBAI: Sunil Bansal, who headed the dairy business of Yoga guru Ramdev's Patanjali brand, died of Covid-19, the company said on Monday, adding it had no "role in his allopathic treatment." Bansal was vice president in the Dairy Division of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and died on 19 May. He was 57.

A specialist in dairy science, Bansal joined Patanjali's dairy business in January 2018 when the company announced its plans to sell packaged cow milk and other milk-based products including curd, buttermilk and cheese.

"He died of Covid-19 on 19 May in Rajasthan Hospital, Jaipur where his wife is a very senior health official of Government of Rajasthan," the Haridwar-based consumer packaged goods said in a statement, adding, "It's very unfortunate to have lost a young energetic colleague who was taskmaster."

His death comes at a time when Ramdev is courting controversy over his comments dissing allopathic medicines and Covid-19.

"Patanjali didn't have any role in his allopathic treatment which was largely coordinated by his wife," it said. "However we were concerned and used to ask for his well-being from his wife."

On Sunday, Ramdev was forced to withdraw a statement made in a viral video clip in which he is heard saying that "lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for Covid-19." He is also heard questioning some of the medicines being used to treat the disease.

The statement led to vociferous protests from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which demanded that the Health Ministry take strong action against the yoga guru Ramdev for allegedly misleading the public through his statements. Following this, union health minister Harsh Vardhan asked Ramdev to withdraw the statement which he said was "extremely unfortunate".

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